Career

The Career Ladder

What if Your Employer Won’t Support Your Career?

I’ve had a lot of luck in my career, especially as it pertains to my work environment. Although I can’t say every technical job I’ve had was all unicorns and bacon, I’ve been very fortunate to have been treated fairly and professionally through most of my employment history. Not only was I treated respectfully, but the last three employers I…


Polishing the Silverware

Polishing The Silverware

A few weeks ago I met a couple of my business partners in a moderately upscale restaurant in the Washington, DC area. It was not my typical kind of place – I’m more of a casual dining guy – but I did enjoy the experience and the atmosphere. There wasn’t any one particular thing that made the experience a positive…


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Technical Dogma

Humans are creatures of habit, and I suspect that engineering/technical types are even more so. We find something that works and tend to stick with it, sometimes neglecting to occasionally experiment with new tools or methods. The mantra of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” becomes the defense for standing by what we know works just fine. There is…


The Discomfort Zone

The Discomfort Zone

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I read a book entitled The Phoenix Project. This book has been in my Kindle library for some time, but only this weekend did I make time to read it – and I’m glad I did. The story centers around a guy who is more or less forced out of his comfort zone and into a…


A Tool for Every Job

A Tool for Every Job

I’m a fixer. A tinkerer. As a kid, I would take my toys apart just to see how they worked, and to prove that I could put them back together again (and these experiments often had mixed results). Even today, I’m still kind of a shade tree handyman. In fact, earlier this week I had to fix a broken safety…


Broken egg

On Failure: On Being a Screw-Up

“He’s a screw-up. Always trying things that don’t work.” I’ll be honest: I used to be afraid of being the person described above. I didn’t want to be known as someone whose ideas didn’t work. And to that end, I was successful: most of what I tried was successful. The bad news was that I wasn’t doing much. I was…


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Why I Want to Have Coffee With You

Yesterday I read an article entitled “Why I Don’t Want to Have Coffee With You”, in which the author writes that he doesn’t have the time or the desire to simply “have coffee”. While I empathize with some of the author’s justifications for his position, I was disappointed at the hard line he took on this. Personally, I prefer a…


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The Idea Book

How many times have you said to yourself, “Someone should build an application that does [x]…”, or “Wouldn’t it be easy to add automation to [y]”, or “It would be a lot of fun to work on a project to build [z]”? For me, this has happened a lot, and seems to occur more frequently the longer I’m in this…


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On Failure

The first rule of blogging is that you should write about topics you know a lot about. And I know a lot about failure. This post will be the first in a series on the topic, through which I’ll share a few of my own failures and how I’ve done my best to use them to my benefit. In almost…


Tips for social media success

Six practical tips for social media success

Social media is the new résumé.  In many ways, it’s even better than a résumé – a person’s social media stream can reveal attitudes, biases, and deficiencies that wouldn’t dare appear on a résumé.  Your online thoughts – blogs, Instagram pictures, tweets on Twitter, posts on Facebook, among others – help to make up the digital you, which friends and…